WatchOS 7.4: the best new Apple Watch features to try

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Angela Lang / CNET

The following Apple watch The update finally has a release date and brings two revolutionary features to your Apple Watch. With WatchOS 7.4, Apple Watch becomes the key to unlocking your iPhone with FaceID, even if you’re wearing a mask. It also brings AirPlay compatibility to Apple Fitness Plus Service so you can stream your workouts to even more screens.

Read more: iOS 15: all the rumors about Apple’s new operating system we’ve heard

Unlock with Apple Watch

With WatchOS 7.4 and iOS 14.5 on the iPhone (available for download next week), you can opt for a feature on the iPhone that allows you use Apple Watch to authenticate Face ID when your face is covered.

To activate the feature, Apple Watch and iPhone must be running the latest version of their respective software and must be password protected.

Switch the function on the iPhone under the Facial identity and access code in settings and make sure your Apple Watch is unlocked and on your wrist. You might need to enter your password the first time, but after that you should be able to slide up to unlock iPhone with Face ID.

The watch will give you an alert and haptic feedback to let you know that your iPhone has been unlocked.


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Stream Fitness Plus to Airplay 2 devices

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Fitness Plus gives you two types of workout recommendations: either more of what you like or something new to balance your routine.

Vanessa Main Orellana / CNET

If you have an Apple Watch and you’re trying Apple’s new Fitness Plus service, you will now have more ways to train. You can now stream the Apple Watch workout service to any device or TV with AirPlay 2. At launch, the service was only available on an iPhone, iPad, or newer version of Apple TV.

You will still need to select a workout in the Fitness Plus app on your iPhone or iPad. Then tap the broadcast icon in the lower right corner of the screen or select screen mirror in the quick settings section to cast on a device.

The Apple Watch will get many of the same features found in iOS 14.5, including the 217 new emoji and the ability to change your default music. Apple has also released updates for iPadOS and TVOS.


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